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Ex-CEO and ex-prisoner Blankenship making presidential bid

In this May 8, 2018 file photo former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship speaks to supporters in Charleston, W.Va. Blankenship says he’ll seek the Constitution Party’s nomination for U.S. president next year. West Virginia Constitution Party chairman Jeffrey-Frank Jarrell says Blankenship made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during a meeting of the party’s national committee in Pittsburgh.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Former coal executive and ex-federal prisoner Don Blankenship says he'll seek the Constitution Party's presidential nomination next year.

West Virginia Constitution Party chairman Jeffrey-Frank Jarrell says Blankenship made the announcement Saturday during the party's national committee meeting in Pittsburgh.

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Blankenship finished third in the 2018 Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat held by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. Blankenship's general election bid to run as the Constitution Party's nominee was then blocked. The secretary of state cited the state's "sore loser" law prohibiting major-party primary candidates who lose from switching to a minor party.

Blankenship is the ex-CEO of Massey Energy, which owned a West Virginia mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 workers. He spent a year in federal prison for misdemeanor safety violations related to the explosion.

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